Austin, United States

I have spent most of my career as a French professor and a research librarian, and have been reinventing myself as a writer. I’m...

On Spiritual Reading and Our Needless Fears

In things I write of a spiritual nature, I am usually informed by Scripture or some revelation in the lives of the saints, as long as it is consistent with Scripture. I know my own life has been enriched greatly by these wonderful things I’ve read. At the same time, there is a caution I want to add to anyone reading them.

DO NOT LET YOURSELF PANIC! You must first trust in the Providence of God. Also remember that we do not really know the judgments of God. Only God can see the human heart. I remember one day reading in the letters of Padre Pio, and he had advised a spiritual daughter who had asked of him, that a near relative of hers had gone to hell. That bothered me a lot. An entire day I spent worrying about my own family, and thinking of how awful that would be for me if one of my near relatives went to hell. I anguished over it. Truth is, it has informed my prayers now. I grew from that, and learned to pray more for my family, to pray over everything that worried me, and to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. I have always had an incredibly wonderful response to praying for the Poor Souls. Anyway, I recall the death of someone of a royal stature. It hurt me as though it were my own family, because I truly liked that person. I prayed over it, and asked to be shown the outcome of that person’s death. I was surprised to get a response that that soul was in purgatory. At least, I thought it was a response to my prayer request. We never know how God will judge someone. Our best bet is to pray for those we are concerned for. i do this all the time. And if I hear of something that concerns me, I pray for that too. Sometimes I am awakened at night and hear some comment coming from somewhere around, like “He hasn’t been seen for days.” I pop up, grab my Rosary, and start praying. it always brings me peace, and must certainly help the souls in question in some way. I confide all my concerns to the Lord in prayer, and when I feel overwhelmed, I just hand them all to Him and say, “Here, Lord. I can’t deal with all of this right now, so I’m giving it to You. Thank you kindly for carrying it for me for a while.” And He does.

The same can be said for the future. Pray, pray, pray. Confide all your cares to Him, because he cares for you. It is a very true statement. ALWAYS trust in the Lord, and you will not be disappointed. Confide your loved ones to Him. And know that Jesus is with us always. We are not here alone.

So if you are worried about some sin of your own, tell the Lord about it and repent. There is nothing He will not forgive, and you will feel unburdened and forgiven. If you are worried about someone else, confide it to God, and ditto. if a loved one has passed, pray for them. You and your deceased loved one will both benefit. I pray for those who have died all the time, and they have their own ways of thanking you. As for my deep concern about the Padre’s comment of a loved on in hell? It has encouraged me to pray also for those around me ALL THE TIME! We all need a little help. Maybe some things come to us to remind us that this is what we need to do, that it’s our duty, and perhaps we’ve been a little slack in those duties. I know what I read made a difference for me. So I hope this helps you in some way also. And keep in mind that when an Angel appears to anyone on earth, his first words are “BE NOT AFRAID!” God loves us. And remember the words of the Lord at the Last Supper, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith in me also In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” John 14:1-3

May God bless all of you! You are all dear to me.

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